When the weather starts to turn foul, you may be tempted to call in your children and keep everyone indoors for the duration of the rain's falling. However, though there are plenty of rainy day activities you can do to keep the youngsters occupied while the sky is gray, there are also rain games you can play outside! Take advantage of the fresh air and the free giant sprinkler in the sky, and spend some quality time with your children outdoors.
Before you head outside, make sure you're wearing appropriate clothing! You don't need much to successfully play in the rain, but it's a good idea not to wear mesh shoes or they'll end up soaked through. You might want to avoid open-toed shoes as well, if you plan on running around during any of your games. If it's a cold rain, bundle up enough that no one will get sick from exposure to too much bad weather.
Puddle Splashing -- This game is easy enough to figure out! For once, let your children splash away to their heart's content, and join them in their water play to release your inner kid. You can use puddles as the building blocks of an obstacle course, only jumping from puddle to puddle, or you can have contests to see who can make the biggest splash.
Rain Showering -- The novelty of taking a big-kid shower has probably worn off by now for your children, but getting clean in nature's own sprinkler can be an afternoon of excitement! If there's a warm rain outside and you have environmentally-friendly shampoo, dress your children down in their bathing suits and then blob some shampoo on their hair. Then they get to run around in the rain, scrubbing their scalps and letting the rain wash away the soap!
Rainy Tye-Dye -- The rain can make gorgeous art, if you let it! Give each of your children a paper plate (and keep one for yourself), then plop a few drops of food coloring onto each one. As the rain comes down, it will splash on the plate -- run around keeping it held skyward -- and make the food coloring run and thin in places. Once the art has been sufficiently swirled around, shake off the plate and set it somewhere safe inside to dry.
Frog-Counting -- Live near a pond or other place where amphibians gather? Take your children frog-counting! See how many different species of frog you can spot, and have a contest for who can count the highest amount of the hoppers.
Garage sales aren't good for rainy weekends, but when it's sunny this summer, take advantage and wander your neighborhood for great deals!